Everyone does it. And if you say you don't you are probably lying or just a compulsive "over-sharer". Either way it is turning into an epidemic. People are using social media platforms to show ONLY the best portrayals of themselves. I mean it makes perfect sense. Why would I feel the need to tell my Facebook friends or the Twittersphere that I have a stomach ache or that I just watched my seventh straight Snooki & J Woww episode in a row? That's just ridiculous. I don't even like my live-in boyfriend knowing this stuff so why the hell would I tell everyone I am connected to online? I do however, want all my friends to know when I just leave a salon and my hair looks insanely good (since I can never replicate the look myself) or when I attend a really killer party that other people would be jealous of going to. We only share what makes us look cool. Plain and simple.
The very purpose of social media is to connect to your friends, your family, your community. Why only share the extreme highs and leave out the real life, everyday, sucky lows? Let's be real - no one lives a perfect, Pinterest-like existence. Even Rachel Zoe probably vegges out in sweat pants, although on her show she claims to not own a single pair.
So is it ok to do this?
I'm going to say no. I am guilty, don't get me wrong. I typically post on Facebook only when I get to drink at work because I love the jealous comments I get. And I only Instagram pics when I, my dog, or my boyfriend look like we're having a gay 'ol time doing something out of the ordinary. I never Instagram a parking ticket or a bottle of Tylenol I need for cramps - that just seems unnecessary - and it makes me look weak and vulnerable and oh hay, LIKE A REAL FREAKIN' HUMAN BEING!
Real life ramifications
I don't like to get too super deep on my blog, but this issue really hits home for me. I work in PR and I am on social media all day long for both work and play. I personally don't mind seeing everyone's most perfect selves online because I know it's not real. It's merely a very manipulated facade. It's my job to do social media audits of people and investigate who they really are for my clients. I am a professional so I have a different perspective. What about a high school kid that's going through that horrible stage where everyone else seems to be doing just great but you feel like your life sucks? For them, this world of perfection online is not ok. A sophomore at the high school I attended committed suicide last week. It was a horrible shame that could have been prevented and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that my line of work could have had a hand in this child's pain. I want to scream from the rooftops - IT'S NOT REAL. NO ONE IS ALWAYS HAPPY. It may seem like people are constantly posting amazing pictures of them traveling and laughing and having the time of their lives, but it's not reality. Those people cry, get fried from jobs, get fat -- they just don't post about it on their social media pages.
This article from Relevant Magazine discusses this alternate world that social media shows the public. This happy place where every woman can be a Stepford wife and keep a perfect home and have the perfect kids. It isn't real. As a community, we need to unite to understand the difference between reality reality and social media reality because they are two completely different places. And if you know someone in high school going through a rough time, send them a Facebook photo of you doing something mundane. We need to help these kids who think that they have it worse off than anyone because of what they see on their computer screens. I love my life and I love posting fun pictures on my pages, but I also pick up my dog's doo - doo three times a day, I sit on a stinky bus to and from work, I get yelled at by my bosses - I live a true existence that is definitely NOT all Instagrammed sunsets.
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